‘I got it’ – Denver Nuggets transferred Aaron Gordon to Damian Lillard in the second half, took control of Game 2


The Denver Nuggets entered the locker room at halftime of the 2nd game of their first round of the playoff series against Portland Trail Blazers with lead, but he also had an unavoidable presence Damian LillardSupernova boils in the air in the first half.

Lillard set the flamethrower on maximum heat, shooting eight three-pointers on the way to 32 points on a glowing 9-for-16 shot in the opening half. So for the Nuggets coach, Michael Malone, and his staff, who are quite familiar with the difficulties in planning games for Lillard, an adjustment adjustment was necessary.

Forward Aaron Gordon it made it easier for them.

“I caught him,” he told the coaching staff.

The move paid off, Lillard hit just one 3 after half, while the Nuggets retreated for 128-109 wins even series per game per piece.

‘Entering Game 2, we met this morning and talked as staff,’ let’s give it a different look. ‘ [Facundo Campazzo], brings something else to the table, it’s smaller, but he loves you. Austin Rivers brings greater size, “Malone said.” But at half-time, after the first half with 32 points, we said, ‘You know what, let’s throw Aaron Gordon at him.’ That’s one of the reasons we brought AG here that defensive versatility. And he obviously accepted it, he wanted to. That’s the best part about it, this is something Aaron Gordon wanted to do. “

Gordon was a key addition to the Nuggets deadline, adding to the kind of athletic wing versatility they lacked after the loss Jerami Grant at a free agency for Detroit. Of Lillard’s 32 points in the first half, 17 were brought by Campazzo as the primary defender. With Gordon moving to the main task, Lillard scored 10 points in the second half.

“I think they just paid more attention to me, more than it was just one guy,” Lillard said. “I never go against one guy.”

It seemed like an almost certain thing Lillard would challenge Klay ThompsonNBA playoff record for most threes in the game, set on November 2016 (Lillard did equal Vince Carter with a maximum of 3 results in the semifinals.) But not only did Lillard make only the one after the break, he tried to find space for as many as 3 attempts , coming down with just five views in the second half.

“I expect it to continue,” Lillard said. “I just move the ball more, I get more sets outside the ball. Usually bigger guys can use their length and athleticism on the ball, but when you start moving around the torch and windows and stuff like that, you can usually get a little space.”

Lillard finished the night with 42 points, but was greeted step by step along the way Nikola Jokić, who returned after being set in the playoffs by the Blazers for a low-level career assist in Game 1. Jokic scored 38 points in 31 minutes, shooting 15-20, adding 8 rebounds and 5 assists as the Nuggets rediscovered their deadly balance.

“I know a lot has been done from one assist in the first game and I think it was an unheard of story,” Malone said. “To get an assist, you have to make shots. We struggled to kick in the 1st game.”

While Lillard performed his light show in the second quarter, Jokic and the Nuggets bounced back, winning in the second quarter 42-36. It was a shining example of the Blazers’ main prevailing problem during the season of inconsistent defense to launch a high-level attack.

“I had a great ride, but they outdid us that quarter,” Lillard said. “We haven’t stopped. I think it’s a perfect example that you can fill it, but when you trade baskets with a good team like them, especially on the road with your back to the wall, you’re probably not going to win it.”

After the First Game, the Nuggets took a clear approach to playing with more power, setting an early tone. Blazers coach Terry Stotts said his team simply could not respond to Denver’s intensity.

“The reality is that they were a more aggressive team. Their starters were more aggressive and the bench more aggressive,” Stotts said. “They played a lot better than in the first game and deserved to win the game. We can point out a lot of different things, but they outplayed us from top to bottom. Except for Dame’s 40.”

However, the first half was not only because of the hay thrown by Lillard and Jokić. Both teams had to be separated in the first quarter because there was a mini shootout after a few words from the Blazers Center Jusuf Nurkić had with the Nuggets players during the timeout. That led to the inclusion of Portland assistant coach Nate Tibbetts. Duplicate techniques were shared Michael Porter Jr. and Nurkić.

“It was exactly a playoff game. In terms of intensity, you had two high-level players in Damian Lillard and Nikola Jokic who played at their own levels,” Malone said. “The audience was great. But it was clean. And so it should be. We’re both fighting for something. It should be the playoffs too. I liked it. It’s my kind of game right there.”

Game 3 is Thursday in Portland.


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